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How to Use Windows Application Compatibility Mode

Published: October 25, 2001

This article describes how to use Windows Application Compatibility mode. This mode provides an environment for running programs that closely reflects the behavior of earlier Windows operating systems.

Using The Windows Application Compatibility Mode

When you use Windows Application Compatibility mode, many of the most common issues that prohibit earlier versions of programs from working correctly are resolved. If you run a program and it does not function as expected, it is recommended that you run the program in one of the compatibility environments.

To run programs in Windows Application Compatibility mode in Windows XP

  1. Right–click the icon of the program that you want to fix.

  2. Click Properties.

  3. Click Compatibility tab.

  4. Click Run this program in compatibility mode and select one of the following options:

    • Windows 95

    • Windows 98 / Windows Me

    • Windows NT 4

      Compatibility Mode dialog box

  5. Under Display settings, check the mode that you think is necessary for the program to work correctly:

    • Run in 256 colors.

    • Run in 640 X 480 screen resolution.

    • Disable visual themes.

      Compatibility Mode dialog box

  6. Click Apply.

  7. Click Ok.

  8. Double–click the program icon.

    Note  The Compatibility tab is only available for programs installed on your hard drive. Although you can run the Program Compatibility Wizard on programs or setup files on a CD–ROM or floppy disk, your changes will not remain in effect after you close the program. For more information about an option on the Compatibility tab, right–click the option and then click What's This.

For More Information

For additional information about software that is compatible with Windows XP please visit the Windows 2000 Check Hardware and Software Compatibility Web site.

For information about how to obtain and install the Application Compatibility Toolkit 2.0, visit the MSDN Windows Application Compatibility Web site.

For additional information about program compatibility with Windows XP, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q294403 Description of Windows XP Matching Information (Grabmi.exe) Tool
Q286575 A Program Compatibility Check List for Windows XP
Q292533 How to Use Windows Application Compatibility Mode

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